Tutor writing equation as students look on

TA and Tutor Responsibilities

Learning Emporium ‘Ohana

As a member of our community of learners, we ask that you contribute to creating an inclusive and collaborative environment.  Please take note of the students around you - approach students who may need assistance but do not feel comfortable approaching you or joining in a group conversation.  Please also “malama” the space, i.e., care for it as your own and clean up after yourselves (and ask your students to do so as well).  There are cleaning supplies throughout the room.

Name Badges:

At the front of the room you will find photo name badges. Please wear these at all times so that students can readily identify you as one of the tutors_TAs. Please replace these at the front of the room when you are finished. There is a table-top sign on one of the tables in the room that gives you an idea of the general area in which you should sit. If another department is on that table, you may relocate to a vacant table. The different departments will expand_contract depending on the number of students they have in the Emporium at any given time. 

Usage Statistics/Record Book:

As you start each tutoring session, locate the 3-ring binder with your department’s name on it. There are separate binders for general chemistry versus organic chemistry. It is generally somewhere near the large tabletop sign, but if it is not there, you might have to search around for it.  Use the notebook to: 1. Sign yourself in and out (ACTUAL start time and ACTUAL end time, in rear half of the notebook); and 2. Tally any students that you assist (in front half of the notebook).  INDICATE “0” if you did not assist any students. If possible, please also try to tally by specific courses (e.g., PHYS 151, PHYS 170, MATH 140, MATH 241, etc) or topic area. Please be diligent in filling in this information. This information is used to make funding decisions, and more importantly, to justify whether CNS should continue to provide out-of-class assistance via the Learning Emporium. In addition, some departments will also use this information to authorize timesheets and made scheduling decisions.

Closing the Emporium:

The last remaining tutor/TA on the advertised schedule in the room is responsible for closing the Emporium.   Any remaining students need to leave when you leave.   Shut off any fans, shut off the lights, and ensure that both doors are locked.  The switches in the back of the room turn off all the lights in the emporium; the front switch only works the lights in the front part of the room.  The Learning Emporium will not remain open after 6:00 PM. What to do if the fire alarm or there is a power outage: In the case of a fire alarm or electrical outage, you and the students should exit the building. The last remaining tutor/TA should check that all students have left and should lock the doors (assuming the situation allows you to do this).

What to do if the air conditioning goes off:

Please report the outage to Lynne Higa or the Chemistry Department (Bilger 239; 956-7480). In most instances it will be an outage of the central air conditioning system. There are portable fans in the room for your use.

Food & Drink:

Beverages and tidy, non-smelly snacks/light meals ARE allowed in the Learning Emporium, for both you and your students. Full meals and messy or aromatic foods should be consumed outside. All food items should be disposed OUTSIDE BilA 209. Please ask the students to do the same. 


Students rely on the published schedules and plan their visits to the Learning Emporium, even the campus, based on your advertised hours. You are expected to abide by the published schedule.
Unexpected absences (sudden illness, vehicle trouble, etc.): Please contact your department supervisor and Lynne Higa as soon as you are able to reach a phone or computer. Notices will be posted in Learning Emporium on the schedule so that students are aware that you will not be able to hold your hours. Please remove the notes when you return to work if it is still on the schedule.
EXPECTED absences (conference, field trip, etc.): Please provide advanced warning so that students will be aware of the change in assistance, and can plan accordingly. Modifications to your work schedule: Any changes to your schedule needs to be approved by both your department supervisor and Lynne Higa.

Phone access:

A phone is located at the front of the room in case of emergencies, or if you need to contact your departmental office/supervisor.  

Resource Page for Tutors/TAs:

Required reading for tutors/TAs can be found at: Tutor Tutorials

  Contact Lynne Higa if you have any questions, encounter difficulties or need additional supplies.
Contact information: emporium@hawaii.edu , 956-4744

The College of Natural Sciences thanks you for your contributions to the Learning Emporium!  

Teaching Assistant / Tutor: Code of Honor

  • I will have subject proficiency and knowledge in my subject area.
  • I will strive to provide excellent customer service. I will be encouraging, positive, and maintain a professional attitude in the center.
  • I will remember that I may be a role model for someone; therefore, I should conduct myself in an appropriate manner at all times.
  • I will be on time for tutoring shifts, not only out of courtesy, but as a good model for students on professional behavior.
  • I will give my full attention to the students who come in for tutoring.
  • I understand that my relationship to the students is professional and not personal.
  • I will speak clearly and use understandable language.
  • I recognize that I may not have all the answers to student questions. In this event, I will seek assistance in finding answers to the student's questions and/or direct the student to an appropriate resource for the information.
  • I will share any concerns I have with my supervisor.
  • I will strive for a mutual relationship of openness and honesty as a tutor.
  • I will show respect for students’ cultural backgrounds and personal value systems.
  • I will not impose my personal value system or lifestyle on students.
  • I will always understand my role is never to do students’ work.
  • I will count on the students to also be my tutor and teach me ways to do a better job.
  • I will enable my students to transfer learning from one situation to another.
  • I will keep confidential any information that any student decides to share with me or that I have access to in the helping process.
  • I will not comment negatively to students on faculty's grading policies, teaching methods/styles, assignments or their personalities.
  • I will strive to help students achieve independence, and become self-directed learners.

Developed from: The National Association of Tutorial Services’ Code of Ethics